How I Landed My Dream Job… By Dropping Out Of School
Sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward.
For Amy Stott, a student who excelled in science, deciding to drop out of nursing school for a path of uncertainty could have been a huge mistake.
Quitting anything is rarely an easy decision, and dropping out of school is probably the scariest decision a young person can make. If you’re the type to go through life with a plan set in place and an idea in your head of who you want to be, disrupting that plan can feel like failure.
While Stott was excelling in her classes, she knew in her gut that nursing school was not for her. After weighing her options with the support of her family she made the decision to drop out. Veering from the path she had always seen for herself was a scary decision, but with nursing school behind her Stott was able to focus on what she wanted to do next.
“I didn’t want $60,000 in OSAP debt, so how the hell was I going to go to business school?”
“I didn’t want $60,000 in OSAP debt, so how the hell was I going to go to business school? I sat at my table in my apartment and exhaustively researched scholarships and opportunities. I applied for everything, spent hours writing applications”.
After ending up at Ryerson University, Stott began working as a bartender at Steam Whistle Brewing in Toronto, a Premium Pilsner brewery and brand whose product competes with the best in the world.
Stott’s bartending gig turned into more as she began working her way up through the company, landing a role as Event Coordinator, before taking her current position as a Marketing Coordinator.
‘Hi – I just graduated and I want my dream job working on your world-renowned and respected brand’.
Your first job out of college won’t—and shouldn’t be—your dream job. For the most part first jobs are pretty terrible.
“I couldn’t have walked through the door initially saying ‘Hi – I just graduated and I want my dream job working on your world-renowned and respected brand’. Event coordination was not where I wanted to spend my career. In fact, I was the opposite of those girls who dreamed of their wedding days, and suddenly I was managing 75 weddings and 280 events a year.”
“But managing the venue was my opportunity to showcase myself and my work. I made sure people were aware where I wanted to go eventually, and I hustled at the opportunity I was given. I was the best Event Coordinator I could be.”
When speaking of the different roles she has had moving up through the company Stott stresses the importance of showing your work and your worth at every single opportunity you are given.
“Use every opportunity to showcase yourself.”
“Asked to order lunch for a management meeting? Order the best lunch you can, on budget, served hot. Use every opportunity to showcase yourself.”
As Marketing Coordinator Stott now plays a key role in the development and implementation of marketing strategies from PEI to British Columbia and everywhere in between.
“Be open to any and all options. Things will come your way that you never even dreamed up that will surprise you.”
“My role is collaborative; I work closely day-to-day with our incredible sales team, creative, communications, purchasing, production, events, distribution and finance teams to ensure that the brand remains relevant and consistent to consumers and most of all that initiatives support our brand promise”.
Currently Stott is working closely on a campaign in collaboration with the 2017 JUNO Awards, and a partnership with Hudson’s Bay for Canada’s 150th.
When asked what advice she would pass on to anyone reading this article Stott brought things back to “the path”.
“Believe in yourself beyond reason.”
“Don’t get stuck in the A-B-C mentality. Your path will be crooked not straight,” Stott says. “And be open to any and all options. Things will come your way that you never even dreamed up that will surprise you. I mean, hello, beer?”
“There will always be naysayers and those who think you’re crazy and will never make it happen, but don’t let them sit in your front row.”
Speaking of her journey to where she is now professionally, Stott does not seem to regret her initial choice of nursing school. While she joked that she could have done without having to pay off OSAP debt, even that perceived setback lead to something great.
“I hustled to keep my marks above 90% and keep those scholarships year after year and graduated with my Bachelor of Commerce debt free!”
“Believe in yourself beyond reason,” says Stott when asked what advice she has for those currently in similar situations. “There will always be naysayers and those who think you’re crazy and will never make it happen, but don’t let them sit in your front row. Surround yourself with people who encourage you.”
Who knows, you too could end up with a career in beer.